Browns owner on Ray Rice: ‘I’d like to see him get another shot’
With his notorious history of domestic violence, free agent running back Ray Rice has seemingly become a persona non grata in the National Football League. The 28-year-old has been angling for an NFL comeback this offseason to no avail, with teams supposedly “blackballing” the three-time Pro Bowler out of a return. But all it takes is for one team to roll the dice on Rice. And if owner Jimmy Haslam’s recent comments are any indication, that team just might be the Cleveland Browns.
Speaking with Bob Holtzman of ESPN on Thursday, Haslam expressed support for Rice’s comeback bid, but stopped short of saying the Browns were definitely interested given the young running backs already on their roster.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslem on Ray Rice "I'd like to see him get another shot". Tells me they want to see what team's young RBs can do first.
— bob holtzman (@BobHoltzmanESPN) August 13, 2015
Rice has not played in the league since being released by the Ravens in September 2014 after the infamous elevator video of him knocking his wife unconscious went public.
Other than his enormous off-the-field baggage, at 28 years of age, Rice has reached the point where elite running backs usually hit the downward slope of their careers. It’s especially so considering the amount of time Rice has spent away from the game, and the whole picture is enough for the great majority of NFL teams to avoid him like the plague.
But the Browns have already been rumored to have interest for a couple of days now. The inexperience and uncertainty surrounding their current backfield corps of Isaiah Cromwell, Terrance West, and Duke Johnson could be enough to incentivize taking on this massive reclamation prospect. And with these new comments, it seems inevitable now that Haslam will at least give Rice a workout. We’ll see where it goes from here.